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Fibromyalgia Myths and Truths

Fibromyalgia Myths and Truths. ' By Lena Sanchez When, after 15 years of excruciating pain and hospitalizations without an answer to the pain suffered daily, I was finally diagnosed with Fibromyositis, now known by it's common name Fibromyalgia (FMS), I was given a lot of prescriptions and told that I would more than likely end up in a wheel chair.


Hoping you make a smart decision to take charge of your health!
Lena


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About the author:
***Lena Sanchez a happy retired Medical Office
Nurse/Administrator/Consultant who took charge of her life 8
years ago and is committed to helping others do the same in all
areas of life' Editor of 'Natural Environmental Health Facts &
Your Home Business Coach Ezine" Newsletter subscribe at
http://www.envirodocs.com/newsletter.htm

It took years of trial and error and a lot of years on prescriptions before I was able to break away from the traditional wheel-chair bounding medications.

Most doctors in 2003 still do not consider FMS a legitimate illness, but will try to appease a patient while knowing nothing about how to help them.

There are ways in which to help yourself and believe it or not traditional treatments help this disease the most, the medications your physicians give to you all have different side effects that may cause you more complications. People must try a number of different things in order to find some relief from this horrible condition. Medication can work for a short time but offers little help for the long term due to the side effects; IBS can be with you for years and once you have it, even if you get better, your chances of reoccurrence are high. Your body has become allergic to some foods or types of foods, or it can be a large number of foods, it is extremely hard to know what to do or how to find the foods causing this condition. There is hope in using traditional herbs and fruits, many people have been turning to these because they have been effective in their long term recovery. A lot of these can be found in your local health food store. The first thing that needs to be done is to increase the level of your good bacteria, acidophilus supplements can aid in the re-introduction of beneficial bacteria. Cat's claw is used to correct problems of imbalance in the small intestine, it helps to normalize beneficial microbes and reverse intestinal dysbiosis. A probiotic is an organism that is referred to as good or friendly bacteria. When they are ingested they help to maintain a healthy intestinal tract.

My 30+ years with FMS has taught me a few things about myself that I'm not particularly happy with but it's there. It took me years to figure out that almost all exacerbation of my FMS days are caused from what I did or did not put into my mouth. I now know those times that I indulge is going to make me suffer with pain and I have to decide if it's worth it and should others around me suffer for my indulgence? Those days have now become few and far between. And I'm beginning to enjoy the ability to take charge! My doctor thinks I'm nuts but he lets me go do my natural treatment and seems puzzled at how I stay healthy after 30 years with FMS.

Occasionally I wake up with "Ouch, where did those pains come from?" Of course it only takes a moment for me to remember that I did it to myself. I had to have that Hershey's with almonds or a fun size snickers with almonds, or maybe it was a cherry soda or hot fudge banana nut sundae. Anyway, I did it to myself!

The South East Asians have been eating and using a fruit called Mangosteen for centuries to treat all types of aliments. Scientists have been studying the mangosteen fruit for the last 20 years; they are in agreement with the South East Asian people that it heals without side effects. The Mangosteen fruit decreases the level of COX 2 in your body. Mangosteen can aid in the healing process, it helps to ensure that inflammation doesn't turn into chronic inflammation which then leads to chronic disease. How dose Mangosteen do this? One word -Xanthones. Xanthones can only be found in nature. They have been widely studied for their medicinal properties. Xanthones support microbiological balance and sustain the immune system. Xanthones are stable, super charged anti-oxidants. Xanthones are diverse in their abilities to help heal the body; there is a natural anti-inflammatory xanthone within the mangosteen fruit juice. Xanthones can destroy more than one free-radical at a time, unlike normal antioxidants, due to carbon bonds that make them very stable. Each Xanthone performs a specific biological function inside the body unlike regular anti-oxidants. Two hundred xanthones have been identified in nature, 41 are in the Mangosteen fruit alone and you can compare that to the Aloe Vera plant which contains only one xanthone. One thing about xanthones you need to know is they must be consumed in their natural form.

Let's look at juicing; the body has trouble with the hard fibers in most fruits and vegetables due to the inflamed gastrointestinal tract that is no longer functioning properly, juicing actually removes the hard fibers in the necessary foods and still gives you the number two recovery need and that is antioxidants. You must take in a large number of antioxidants every day to fight free-radicals. Free-radicals are molecules or atoms that are missing an electron, antioxidants are either molecules or atoms that have an extra electron. You can not escape from free-radicals and the damage they do, they are in air and water pollution, in the junk foods we eat, and even in the medications we take hence the words "side effects". Free-radicals go around attacking healthy cells in our bodies trying to steal the electron; anti-oxidants will give up their extra electron to a free-radical which in turn stops the attack on healthy cells. Now you can see the importance of taking in a large number of anti-oxidants every day. Most fruits and vegetable have anywhere from 1,000 to 1,500 anti-oxidants each, which does not seem like a lot compared to the amount of free-radicals you are taking into your body every single day; about a billion. Vitamins and minerals also contain antioxidants so supplementation is important. You need to do some research and try to find fresh supplements; they tend to lose their potency the longer they sit on the self.

Let's take a look at the intestinal areas that can go wrong. The gastrointestinal system needs an optimum level of good bacteria or your chemistry will change. The main reason you lose your bacterial balance is the use of antibiotics, unfortunately we sometimes need these drugs in order to get infections under control, but the side effect of this type of medication alters the bacterial balance in the intestines. Once the body has lost its bacterial balance it takes some time for the disease to set in. The inflammatory response that the body sends to the intestines is designed to heal what ever damage it encounters. It can not heal a lack of beneficial bacteria so the inflammatory response can not do what it is designed for and instead begins to attack the intestines. Now that the damage is getting worse and the beneficial bacterial level is low, your chemistry begins to change and the foods you were able to eat before become your worst nightmare. You are now developing intolerance's or an allergic reaction to certain foods and symptoms begin appearing at an alarming rate. This is the most humbling and humiliating disease ever, because in many cases having to run to the rest room 10 to 25 times per day is common. 1 in ever 5 people has this disease and the majority is women. Stress is also a major player in all the IBS diseases and the more stress you feel during the day the worse your disease will get.

TRUTHS I found are; FMS is painful and debilitating. It occurs more in women than men. With it comes depression, loss of self worth, pain beyond comprehension and in places you cannot describe literally from the top of your head to the bottoms of your feet. Disability comes to the person who follows the traditional path of treatment. Pain varies from one person to the next as to the severity and the areas on the body. Sleep deprivation and chronic fatigue are constant companions when FMS is out of control. Alternative Natural medicine is the only route to go to keep from becoming a wheel chair bound invalid also regain your self worth and avoid chronic fatigue and IBS. Heart disease comes from the stress of it all so you have to be extra careful to keep antioxidants in your system, 5 to 10 times the RDA's. Sugary foods exacerbate FMS. Eating empty caloried foods (chips, sodas, cookies, etc.) set up an exacerbation of FMS. Most of these I experienced for myself in the past.

Methylsufonylmethane or MSM is a naturally occurring sulfur used to control infections of the intestinal tract. You can also try, Green food plus w/MSM-Supreme greens, this formulated product is packed full of antioxidants and gives the nutritional equivalent of 2 lbs of fresh vegetables. There are a number of other items such as colustrum, bee propolis, sea silver, chlorophyl, and juicing.

Unfortunately however, a large portion of IBS sufferers find that their condition cannot be fully cured. The medical profession has been unable to pinpoint exactly the causes of the syndrome. Thus, a cure has not been developed. In the absence of such a cure, however, the best thing and IBS sufferer can do is to get the best medical help available, as well as make relevant lifestyle changes. Lifestyle changes may not be able to make IBS go away completely, but they will make the symptoms easier to cope with.

That is a very true if I had continued to take those prescriptions and listen to those doctors who haven't a clue as to what is going on in FMS patients, yes being wheel chair bound, a side effect of the prescriptions they are prescribing for FMS, would have been my fate.

I discovered there were certain things that I eat that exacerbates FMS, so I steer clear of them and take my herbs, minerals, meganutrient vitamins, antioxidants and probiotics daily.

Finding a way to control your level of stress is absolutely essential for your recovery; maintaining a low level of stress will help keep the disease from re-occurring later because once you have IBS you are always at high risk of it coming back to haunt you; your intestines will always be very sensitive to any unhealthy level of stress. Quite a few people find that Yoga is very calming and relaxing; yoga is designed to relieve stress, and calm the body and mind. There is more than likely a yoga class in your area.

 
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If you have been diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), you will know how difficult it is to treat. Doctors can be dismissive of IBS symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation and bloating, and when treatment is offered it may only help for a short while before the distressing symptoms return.





About the author:
Sophie Lee has had IBS for 14 years. She runs the IBS Tales
website at http://www.ibstales.com where you can read hundreds
of stories and tips from IBS sufferers.

Second, exercise is a good way to relieve stress. Many doctors believe that IBS has psychological origins. When a mind is under unusual amounts of stress, it is more prone to mental problems. Mental problems, in turn, lead to physical problems. The symptoms of IBS often begin when a person is exposed to too much stress. Stress has not been proven to cause IBS; but it certainly makes it worse. Because of this, anyone with the syndrome should do his utmost to reduce his stress levels. Exercising, of course, is one of the finest ways to accomplish this.

Aside from changes in diet, one of the most important things an IBS sufferer can do is to get some regular exercise. Exercise is vital to the IBS sufferer for two specific reasons. First, exercise makes your body stronger. Exercise strengthens the immune system, making it less likely that other illnesses or disorders will occur.

Stress and IBS Daniel believes that his symptoms are related to his emotions and stress: 'I thought that when I was stuck on the toilet, experiencing the most severe cramps, thinking I was about to pass out from the pain, feeling like I was about to throw up, I was the only one. I'm still trying to work it out but I believe it has a lot to do with my psychological state. I say this because although I don't get too stressed out at any one moment, I do have general worries about money and life. I tend to find when I'm not worrying about these things I don't get the pain as much, if at all. It's easier said than done of course, I can't just stop worrying about money or my future, but being aware of these things seems to help - being optimistic and knowing that everything is only temporary. I have been taking Colpermin (peppermint capsules) as a preventative which often helps and for a while I took painkillers which I think helped.'

In 1995 I took charge of my life and found herbs and minerals that control my FMS, as long as I stay away from sugary foods and drinks. I no longer take a prescription of any kind and have no intentions of ever taking another one. I am pain free 99% of the time. Yes, FMS is still with me but I get my sleep by taking a formula of several herbs at bedtime Also a necessity is having sufficient probiotics of equal natural flora to balance out the intestinal system so the bowels can stay healthy. Equally important is a strong balance of minerals, antioxidants and meganutrients. If stress is a problem I temporarily add a natural stress reducing formula of herbs to counteract that.

Scientists have also been in a buzz about the amount of antioxidants this fruit contains. The Mangosteen fruit juice has an amazing 25,000 antioxidants. Science has proven that this fruit has the most powerful and the largest number of antioxidants in nature to date. The Mangosteen fruit juice has been providing thousands of people with medicinal benefits.

Soluble versus insoluble fiber Some nutritionists believe that IBS sufferers' intestines react differently to soluble and insoluble fiber, and this has been Stu's experience: 'After trying all kinds of drugs and healthy eating, my pains were still there. I found by accident that it wasn't so much what I ate but whether I ate it on a full stomach or not. My failsafe is pasta on an empty stomach, I get no reaction - it is soluble fibre that settles the colon apparently. I quickly searched on the internet for recipes high in soluble fibre and I have improved. Most significantly though I am on no medication and this puts me in control of the IBS, not the other way around. I think this is important as stress certainly can trigger the symptoms off. I don't avoid insoluble fibre as it is essential for the body, but I recommend that you eat it on a full stomach.'

Mina also found that dietary change helped control her symptoms, alongside traditional medication: 'I've made a number of changes to my diet. I've eliminated milk and mostly any dairy, fried foods, sugar for the most part, pop, alcohol, potato chips, spicy food, rice, pasta and bread. Most recently I'm eliminating flour. But my best friend for the last couple of years has been Imodium Quick Dissolve tablets. I don't ever leave home without them. I just have to make sure I don't overdo it. If I ever become immune to the wonder drug I am gonna be a real mess!'

The best solution is a natural food source that inhibits the inflammation and pain problems that are associated with COX 2 without disturbing the COX 1 that is critical in protecting the stomach lining and the bloods ability to clot.

If you suffer from constipation rather than diarrhea, you could try magnesium supplements instead, as these can have a slight laxative effect. Digestive enzymes and probiotics

Inflammation starts with the COX 2 enzyme. COX 1 preserves platelet function (needed for blood clotting) and protects the stomach lining. COX 2 causes inflammation and pain. COX 2 has been found in brain and spinal cord tumors as well as in the brains of Alzheimer's patents causing degeneration of the brain tissue from the chronic inflammation.

Looking at your diet Laura describes how a close examination of her diet helped her IBS: 'I was placed on every kind of medication, and sometimes they worked in the short term, sometimes they didn't work at all. The doctor finally suggested trying to alter my diet in cycles, and we discovered that eating meat was my problem. I became a vegetarian and no longer have constant problems. Sometimes I even go years without any pain at all. It's worth all the effort you put into it when you finally feel better.'

Kim, who also suffers from bad diarrhea, says: 'I tried taking digestive enzymes with acidophilus and found significant relief within three days. I am not afraid to eat now, but find that I still cannot eat very much refined sugar or high fibre vegetables. I have also added a cup or two per day of peppermint and chamomile tea. When I do have an episode it occurs late in the day and by the next morning I am feeling back to normal.'

These diseases, such as inflammatory bowl disease (IBD), crohn's, colitis, etc., have inflammation at the source of their problems. Inflammation is the bodies' response to injury or illness, in the case of these diseases the inflammatory response turns on the bodies' digestive track and actually attacks it. This means it is an auto-immune disease. There are only two areas where your intestinal system can go astray, either your bacteria or your chemistry or it could be both. Irritable bowl syndrome (IBS) is a general term used for all the conditions in this class. IBS has no one cause and no one cure.

The digestive system is actually a very complex organ that has a finely tuned team of mechanical reactions mixed with chemicals. The team goes into action once food enters the mouth where it mixes with saliva, the food then moves to the stomach where it meets with digesting enzymes and other chemicals. The food mixes with the stomach secretions that are released; the mixture now moves into the small intestine, this is where new team members enter into the game. The liver and pancreas are now in action releasing digestive enzymes that break down the complex carbohydrates, fats and protein into sugars, simple fats and amino acids; these are now absorbed by the small intestine. The next team member is the large intestine or colon, the responsibility of this team player is to break down undigested food, fiber and water, as this mixture moves through the colon it is dehydrated by the colon cells becoming solid as it moves and turning into stool.

A final word Lastly, please do make sure that you have been officially diagnosed with IBS and had your symptoms fully investigated before trying any self-help methods. As Joe found out, bowel symptoms can be due something other than IBS: 'I was diagnosed with IBS, but I went to get a second opinion. They did an ultrasound followed by a barium follow-through which showed major inflammation and blockage of my small intestine. The final diagnosis is Crohn's disease. It's a pity they didn't catch it before I was seriously ill, instead of fobbing me off with excuses of 'It's IBS, there's no cure so live with it!''

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a disorder which causes the bowels or the gut to be oversensitive. This increase in sensitivity causes a variety of uncomfortable symptoms, which includes excessive gas, stomach cramps and pains, bloating of the abdomen, constipation, and diarrhea. Obviously, these symptoms do not exactly make for the ideal life.

Morning meant -getting slowly out of bed then into the hottest shower I could stand enabling me to be awake enough to get to work, but most of all to help weaken the pain enough for me to contend with it all day. That was not a fun time.

All the self-help tips in this article have come from IBS sufferers who have found a way to control their irritable bowels. Before trying any form of self-help, please make sure that you have your doctor's approval, and do check that anything you try will not interfere with any medication you are taking.

Jacob Mabille writes for Free Health Articles where you can find more health tips and related articles. You may republish this article only if you retain resource box and active hyperlinks.


 
 
     
 
 





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